iPad Keyboard Shortcuts

One of the things that I do is serve on the Illinois State Bar Association Standing Committee on Legal Technology. One of the things we do as a committee is to try and help attorneys use technology in their legal practice. To that end, the committee has created a series of short videos that detail some technology tips for attorneys. I recently shot one of these videos on the use of iPad keyboard shortcuts. This is one of the most used features on my iPad and I am constantly amazed at the number of people who do not even know that it exists. One key thing to remember is that this tip works only if you are using iPad keyboard.

Other Tech Tips can be found on the ISBA Lawyer’s You Tube Page. I urge you to watch them all.

What You Need to Know: Cloud Storage, Document Assembly, and Ethics

Anyone who knows me, know that I am a huge proponent of a paperless office and the use of cloud storage. As such, I am thrilled to be participating in a presentation called: What You Need to Know: Cloud Storage, Document Assembly, and Ethics. This seminar is being presented by the Standing Committee on Legal Technology from Illinois State Bar Association.

The program is on September 24, 2015, from 1 to 5:15 CT, and you can attend live at the Chicago Regional Office, or attend via a live webcast. You need not be an ISBA member to attend (although the registration fee is higher for non-members). My sessions is described as:

3:15 – 4:15 p.m.  Your Paperless Office*
Paper…files filled with paper…cabinets filled with files….all of these things takes up space around the office and makes it difficult to find what you need when you need it. This informative presentation explains what “going paperless” means and shows you how to get started – from choosing the proper electronic file format to knowing which type of equipment and software you need.

There will also be sessions on Cloud Storage for Lawyers, Document Assembly, and The Ethics of Cloud Technology and Electronic Files.

Just about everyone can benefit from this program and I urge you to attend. Click here to register.


Gizmos, Gadgets & Widgets

Recently I had the honor of  presenting with Nerino Petro at the ISBA Solo and Small Firm Conference. One of the sessions that we did was a Gizmos, Gadets & Widgets session at 8:30 on Saturday morning. I was pleasantly surprised with the number of people who turned out early Saturday morning for the presentation.

KeynoteAs usual, we had great fun with this presentation. At the session, we mentioned that we would make our presentation available on my site. Thus, you can now download a PDF of our presentation Gizmos, Gadgets & Widgets. You can also find this and many other files on my Files page.

If you have any questions on any of the items, feel free to contact either Nerino or myself.

The Legal Practice Landscape

On Friday, June 15 ,2012, I will be part of a panel speaking about The Legal Practice Landscape: Thriving in a Climate of Change.

This is a CLE sponsored by the ISBA at its annual meeting. However, you need not attend the annual meeting if you just want to attend the CLE.

During the program the other panelists and I will share information you need to know about current and future changes affecting the practice of law as well as some tips on how to prepare for and adapt to those changes. We will facilitate discussions among attendees and offer our insights on some of these topics: the shifting paradigm of the practice of law; the information tsunami and how to use it to your benefit; generational preferences and practices; technological changes and positive ways to embrace them; and what it means to you; social media – pluses and minuses; and business trends impacting the legal profession.

You can find further information about the presentation here.

If you need professionalism credit, please note that this presentation has been approved for 3 hours of professionalism credit.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Upcoming CLE Presentations

I have several CLE presentations that are occurring in the next couple of months. If you want to get some CLE credits or just learn something, I would recommend each of the following programs (and not just because I am speaking at them).

General Practice Update 2012: Suburban Regional Event, sponsored by the General Practice, Solo and Small Firm section of the ISBA. February 9, 2012.

The title of my presentation is Update on Effective and Ethical Law Office Technology.

Legal Trends for Non-Techies: Topics, Trends, and Tips to Help your Practice, sponsored by the Standing Committee on Legal Technology of the ISBA. March 2, 2012.

I will be speaking on two topics. The first is Can You Really Run a Practice from a Table? It is described as: Whether you’re in the courtroom, in a meeting, or in transit … learn how tablets such as Apple’s iPad and Android tablets can complement your practice, including accessing email and documents, connecting with clients/staff/colleagues, accessing your office systems remotely, and more … no matter where you are!

I will be co-presenting with Deirdre A. Fox and Nerino Petro.

The second session would be 60 Tech Tips in 60 Minutes. It is described as: This fast-paced session offers dozens of practice tips and tricks for getting things done better, faster, and cheaper. Topics include everything from gadgets, to software/hardware, the Web, practice management, and more!

I will be co-presenting with Nerino Petro and Aaron Brooks.

Strategies to Reduce Paper in the Office, sponsored by the Practice Management Department of the Chicago Bar Association. March 20, 2012, 12 PM to 1:30 PM.

This session is described as: Reducing paper in your office is not just about “going green”. Reducing the reliance on paper will increase productivity, improve response times, and assist with business continuity efforts. We will explore the tools and methods you will need to digitize your office, backing up your systems, and discuss when you still might need to keep some things in print. By harnessing software, hardware, and better workflows you can provide enhanced client service and enjoy greater mobility.

I will be presenting with Catherine Sanders Reach.

ABA TechshowABA Techshow, March 29-31, 2012

My presentation will be on March 30, 2012 at 2:15 to 3:15. My presentation is titled Cloud Tools for Solos and Firms: What’s Out There? The description is With so many cloud options to choose from, you’ll need this session to get a realistic overview of the viable tools for your law practice.  The presenters will cover cloud services for every aspect of law practice, whether you are a solo or practice in a larger firm.  Explore cloud-based practice management, time tracking and accounting, document management, and several other law office productivity tools.

I will be co-presenting with Chad Burton and Nerino Petro.

Register Today for the ISBA Solo and Small Firm Conference

Today is your last day to get the early bird pricing to attend the ISBA Solo and Small Firm Conference. I have attended each of these conferences and I have always had a great time and learned something. More information can be found here and the complete conference schedule can be found here (downloads as a PDF).

I will admit that I am not an entirely neutral party here. I serve on the planning committee for this conference and I am scheduled to speak there. However, I really do think that this is a great conference and well worth attending.

In addition, one of the sessions that I am speaking at will be unique. This year the Wisconsin Solo and Small Firm Conference is occurring at the same time that our conference is. Thus, on Friday, we are trying something that I am not sure has been tried before. We are doing a joint presentation on working remotely. We are going to have two speakers at the Wisconsin conference and two speakers at our conference and we will be making the same presentation to both conferences at the same time.

Even if you don’t want to see our joint session, please join us for the conference, and sign up today to make sure you get early bird pricing.

2010 ISBA Solo and Small Firm Conference

The 2010 ISBA Solo and Small Firm Conference will be on October 21 through 23 in Springfield, Illinois. We had a great time there last year. I anticipate that year will be even better now that we are in the Hilton. If you don’t have other plans, I urge you to consider attending.

I will be speaking at two sessions. One will be on using Acrobat to help you migrate to a paperless practice. The other is on time and billing and the associated IOLTA issues.

If you can’t attend, you can follow other attendees on Twitter. The hashtag we will be using is #isbassf.

You can find further information here.

Register for the ISBA Solo & Small Firm Conference

Don’t forget to register for the ISBA Solo & Small Firm Conference. It is in Springfield again, although not at the same hotel as last year. This time the conference will be at the Hilton. I have attended every ISBA Solo & Small Firm Conference and I think it has gotten better every year.

Register by August 27, 2010 to receive the early bird discount. After that, the registration price increases.

You can download the complete schedule here.

I will be speaking at two sessions. One titled Your Secret Weapon in the War Against Paper: Adobe Acrobat and PDF. The second is titled Your Bottom Line: What You Need to Know about IOLTA and Firm Accounting, Time and Billing.

In addition we will also have the following presentations on the Tech Track:

  • Email Bankruptcy: How to Deal with Email Overload
  • Integrating Technology into the Modern Law Office to Improve Efficiency and Effectiveness Without Spending a Bundle
  • Practicing in the Cloud: Pros and Cons of Software as a Service (SaaS), Online Document Repository and Virtual Law Practice
  • Document Management for the Law Office: Buy It or Build It?
  • The Ethics and Security of Cloud Computing
  • Trial Tech: Taking the Mystery out of Litigation Support Software and Trial Technology Without Breaking the Bank
  • The Barbarians are at the Gate: Securing Your Technology and Your Network
  • Mac in the Law Office: Running a Mac in a Windows World
  • I Have the Power: Using Advanced Legal Features in MS Word

In addition to these programs, the Substantive and the Effective and Ethical Practices Tracks have a variety of excellent programming as well.

You can register for the program here.

Maybe Blago’s Attorneys Should Have Attended an ISBA CLE

At Law and Conversation, Helen Gunnarsson is reporting about the motion recently filed by attorneys for Rod Blagojevich. The motion, which seeks to subpoena the President, was supposed to contain redacted information. The information, of course, was not actually redacted, and, instead, was simply covered by black boxes. As Helen notes, both the Tribune and the Sun Times are reporting that this error was caused by a “computer glitch.”

This is the most ridiculous thing I have heard. A “computer glitch” does not cause this problem. The problem is caused because someone did not redact the document properly. There are ways in which a document can be properly redacted, and ways in which it is not properly redacted. Having a document that is improperly redacted is no more a computer glitch than having a document that is properly redacted.

As Helen mentioned in her post, Nerino Petro and I spoke on this issue at the ISBA Solo and Small Firm Conference last fall. Additionally, Helen recently wrote about this topic in the ISBA Bar Journal. Further, both Nerino & I reprised our presentation just last week in Chicago. Further, one need not look far to notice the large number of news stories that talk about redaction done wrong.

This is not a complicated task. Further, it is not one that you can ignore. Before the Northern District of Illinois allows you to sign in to the CM/ECF system, it requires you to check a box stating “I understand that, if I file, I must comply with the redaction rules. I have read this notice.”

Clearly this check box does not prevent someone from filing an improperly redacted document. However, it should make attorneys question the fact of whether they have properly redacted the document they are about to upload to the ECF system.


I am glad that someone in the mainstream media has finally pointed out that this was not caused by a computer glitch. As Eric Zorn states:

Not to get too fussy, but the computers used in this caper all seem to have performed perfectly. The “glitch,” discovered yesterday at almost the same time by competing reporters, was in the brain of the person on the Blagojevich defense team . . . .

Thanks Eric for pointing this out.

Legal Technology for Non-Techies

On April 16, 2010, from 1 to 5:15 pm I will be one of the speakers at a CLE on Legal Technology for Non-Techies. The CLE is through the Illinois State Bar Association and is sponsored by the Standing Committee on Legal Technology and the Senior Lawyers Section. The topics covered include using practice management software, Creating a paperless environment, managing metadata and redaction, and paperless communication with clients.

If you practice in federal court, the information relating to redaction should be especially relevant to you. In the Northern District of Illinois, when you log into the CM/ECF system, you are greeted with the following:

Redaction Notice Northern District Illinois

If you don’t understand how to properly redact your documents, you run the risk of running afoul of these rules. If you are not sure about your redaction knowledge, I urge you to attend our presentation.